Topping DACs?

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by etane, May 6, 2020.

  1. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    The DD 8C theoretically do seem like they would have an advantage for home use in untreated rooms due to their constant directivity approach, removing/cancelling as much room interactions as possible. Detail perception can also be improved as the result of eliminating room modes and reflections. Not saying that’s the case here, just in general.
     
  2. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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  3. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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  4. Josh83

    Josh83 Friend

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    SMSL is releasing a 1704-based DAC, a fact that caused all the ASSR people to flip out. I’ll be interested to hear it, but I’m guessing used Holo Spring 1s will be about the same price as the SMSL, which presents quite a challenge for SMSL.
     
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  5. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-emm-6-electret-measurement-microphone--390-801

    https://www.gikacoustics.com/product/gik-acoustics-room-kit-package-1/

    Cheaper than dsp trickery.


    They don’t even question putting a wide horizontal dispersion speaker right next to a wall.

    Many people mistake the ringing for clarity and detail. Hence the popularity of aluminum cones and tweeters. The Amphions are still wtf but a much better buy with a beefy amp than some dsped small cab monstrosity. A diy kit is an even better buy for that sound. Amphions came from the diy kit world and most of their sales are from paid shilling on gearslutz.

    ASR basically doesn’t believe in detail, responsiveness, dynamics, and power handling. A small dip that’s not irresponsive while the speaker still sounds cohesive isn’t that important. A black hole like the JBL 305 lower mids, JBL 308 midrange in general, most Genelecs, or typical Dynaudio upper mids is pretty dealbreaking flaw and leads to pros guessing (whether they know it or not) and audiophiles with ears shaking their heads. They don’t understand how bad a crossover and driver breakup can be.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
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  6. Poleepkwa

    Poleepkwa Friend

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    I have learned a lot from his blog. His Pi experiments was fantastic.
     
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  7. exocer

    exocer Rando

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    I really enjoyed reading this thread.. . Especially with all of the ASR measurements posting and Topping shilling going on in this Facebook group I'm a member of. Will need to start blocking those individuals or leave the group. In the group's defense, there is some good content and I love seeing people share excitement about their systems. But, the constant links to ASR SINAD charts, continuous declaration of Topping D90 being SOTA/TOTL/Instrumentation grade, Topping shilling is pushing me towards leaving that group altogether.

    I purchased my Topping DX7S several years ago and I will say I enjoyed it with my Sennheiser HD6XX's, BUT, it lasted no more than a few days in my main 2-channel setup once I got the Yggdrasil.

    I really wanted to like the cheaper supposedly better measuring DAC but no... It wasn't even close.
     
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  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The OP should have exercised some patience before being a smart-ass and getting banned. I have the D70 in the house, for continued discussed of Topping's DAC variants using the AKM chipses. Full review coming, but not impressed. It's like turning back the clock back to sigma-delta nasties of 2010 (ssssssshhh, sssssh, ssssh). If you want the ultimate expression of the AKM sound, get the RME ADI2. If you want something very close to that kind of sound for x10 less money and don't need the RME's features, get the Modi 3. Topping couldn't do anything with the AKM4497, which is AKM's second to TOTL chip. I'm almost sure this sounds worse than the AKM 4497 evaluation boards.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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  10. bboris77

    bboris77 Friend

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    I would be curious to hear which filter you are using to test it Marv. The default Mode 3 can sound a bit sharp like you are describing. Mode 6 is more rolled off and arguably natural, where I find Mode 1 to be most similar to the Modi 3 and other AK4490 DACs.
     
  11. Baten

    Baten Friend

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    Oh right the SMSL VNV D2! Funny that as a successor to the ESS9038PRO based D1 it goes vintage PCM1704-based & it will also decode MQA. I'm quite curious if it will be any good, actually. But I'm pretty sure the corona virus delayed the crap out of the D2, it should be out already.
     
  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I bet ASSR will move the goalposts close and proclaim it's really good - a properly implemented ladder DAC.
     
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  13. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Jumping ahead a bit, but mode 1. Too many modes. Don't know why Topping can't listen for themselves and it narrow down to best 3 or 1 filter, or just offer the best measuring one.
     
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  14. klyrish

    klyrish Facebook Friend

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    My GS-X mini finally got back to me after 47 days of being broken/in the shop and I'm listening to NIN via the following chain:

    Roon on Macbook Pro 2015 > X-SPDIF 2 AES > D90 XLR > GS-X mini XLR > Ether 2

    And I'm extremely impressed. The Gilmore Lite Mk2 I bought from Headamp to use while the GS-X mini was getting fixed was a great little amp--shockingly so. But the GS-X mini is a different beast entirely, especially in regards to slam, general bass performance/response, and imaging/positioning/separation.

    I don't have a ton of DS DAC experience (Fulla 2, Gungnir DS, ESS 9018 in my LG V30, dual CS43198 in HiBy R5) but this is easily the best I've heard of any of those and is really giving the Onyx a run for its money. Bass is so much tighter and has a bit more extension; the D90 sounds legitimately 3D and combined with the separation and imaging, I feel like some of these songs ("Closer" in particular) are swirling around me. I never was able to find the 3D the magic of the Gungnir MB (I had the A1 version, not sure how much it matters) but if this is similar what others hear from Schiit stuff, I get it. A place for everything--even in the most layered and complex passages--and everything in its place.

    Is the D90 overpriced? Quite possibly. But considering the only other option to get a 4499-based DAC at the moment is the Gustard A22 for $1200+, it seems like a steal. I'm enjoying this immensely. I want to give Schiit another try with the Bifrost 2 after reading all of the fantastic responses to it in the thread here and on other boards. It'd be interesting to compare these two given the same price point.
     
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  15. Baten

    Baten Friend

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    SMSL is coming up with an M400 which looks at least as good as the D90. They claim 131+dB of SNR.
     
  16. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    They are just giving the end user a way to toggle one of the six filters in that AK4497 DAC correct? To narrow it down or offer one of their own would mean they are doing something other than cookie cutter design.

    https://www.akm.com/content/dam/doc.../audio-dac/ak4497eq/ak4497eq-en-datasheet.pdf
     
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  17. Raimei Templar

    Raimei Templar Almost "Made"

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    I like having filter options personally as I like to play around with them though typically the differences are pretty minimal. I think mode 6 is the Low dispersion filter if I am not mistaken which is noteworthy as it used to be exclusive to the AKM 4497, though they have since trickled it down to the 4493. AKM seemed to think it was quite special, but I didnt notice much difference on the SMSL M300. Granted I dont think that dac was all that great in general so maybe Topping did a better job. I would also like to hear the AKM 4499 as it is very interesting.

    I wish there was more variety in D/S dacs outside of Chifi, basically all of them are AKM 4490/4493 based which is a bit disappointing. I am waiting for someone to make a cs43198 based dac as I would love to hear what the new Cirrus Logic flagship can do. I have been really impressed with the CS43131 stuff, sounds great, nice reference designs that are hard to screw up, and low power consumption. They stepped up their game a lot since the previous gen imo.

    I keep hoping JDS labs will put out their Atom dac and do something different with it, but I have afeeling its just gonna be a cheap version of their EL dac whenever it finally appears.
     
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  18. MichaeLeroy

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    I think so, The names of the filters on the datasheet match those given in the Topping D90 manual, and the default filter is as called out in the datasheet. So it is fair to conclude that Topping is blindly (or deafly) adopting the on chip filtering and leaving it up to the customer to decide whether there is any need to choose something other than the default short delay, sharp roll-off, filter. Taking what's on offer by AKM pretty much as is does smack of cookie cutter and not much value added between AKM and the customer except packaging.

    Of course, the D90 is more than the AK4497. Topping packaged several highly integrated solutions to achieve "The mountain top performance". But the emphasis in their own marketing materials (at Apos) is on the solutions provided by these component manufactures and not on Topping's design and engineering. This "look at all the cool off the shelf stuff that we bought and threw together" is quintessential cookie cutter and not very interesting unless done at a high level of quality for a low price.

    Let's save our excitement for makers who design and implement great audio products with both imagination and perspiration.
     
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  19. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    On the topic of random, Chi-Fi, eBay DACs, I just so happen to have a mystery DAC that perhaps I should send you. It may be the worst measuring DAC I've tested yet...well, maybe not S19 bad...and I'd be curious if you think it sounds better than the Topping you're testing. :D
     
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  20. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    Wouldn't that be great? Actually kind of a "quest" to find a hidden chi-fi gem and to see the price rocket up after a few good impressions here. ^^

    Yes, as i said the D90 is not bad, at all, just overpriced. I would like to have heard it with some of amps i am most familiared with. I don't get something though:

    "I don't have a ton of DS DAC experience (Fulla 2, Gungnir DS, ESS 9018 in my LG V30, dual CS43198 in HiBy R5) but this is easily the best I've heard of any of those and is really giving the Onyx a run for its money."

    So you have heard the Onyx or not?! This sentence made me confused.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020

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